Growing People is a social enterprise based at the Urb Farm in Wolverton. We work with young people outside of the mainstream school system, working alongside them to produce fruit, veg, eggs, honey and flowers using sustainable and environmentally sound practises.
Our young trainees learn everything there is to know about working on a busy urban farm, from sowing seeds to harvesting produce, and from feeding the chickens and ducks to selling produce to customers!
Our produce is enjoyed by our fantastic local and loyal customers who order from us weekly - and this April we will be launching an exciting new veg box scheme which we hope will mean that even more people can get their hands on our delicious produce! If you'd like to be kept up-to-date on our news and what we have on offer, please email email@example.com to join our mailing list and be first to find out what we're up to.
Our main objective is to work with young people on their confidence and personal development, building whatever skills are needed (on a practical or personal level) to enable them to move on to a positive path, whether that be college, a job, or an apprenticeship. Since the Urb Farm began, we have worked with just under 150 incredible young people, each with their own amazing story, with some huge successes along the way. There is nothing greater than when an ex-trainee comes to visit years down the line, telling staff stories of all their brilliant achievements and what fantastic things they have been up to. It truly is one of the best parts of the job.
The farm is a real wildlife haven, home to a huge variety of creatures big and small - including foxes, bats and hedgehogs; frogs, toads and newts; thousands upon thousands of insects; and masses of different bird species that come to the farm to eat, play and build their nests! Community is also a huge part of the make-up of the farm, and on usual non-Covid years we host various events including our regular open days where visitors travel from all over to take part in forest school activities, listen to live music and enjoy the BBQ!
The farm is also home to our forest school project, The Learning Tree; our beekeeping social enterprise Urban Bee-lievers; and a "natural dyes" growing plot which is run by another sister social enterprise Sew and Grow, who make sustainable and reusable period products. All in all the farm is a hive of activity where staff, trainees and our amazing volunteers come together to grow, create, share knowledge and enjoy nature together!
Have you seen our recent project? Our composting toilet, that is completely waterless! It is fully accessible so that every single person can enjoy it. After years of making do with a run down portakabin toilet, this truly feels royal.
Our dream over the next couple of years would be to raise funds to build a straw bale building, which would be home to a variety of interactive learning spaces for our young people and local residents to attend workshops on anything and everything related to growing, food and nature. It would also incorporate training kitchens so we could run preserving and foraging courses. We would have a little shop so that our customers could browse our amazing produce and even a little cafe where our fruit and veg could be cooked just metres away from where it was harvested. It would also provide a warm and dry space for the team and our tools, a bit of an upgrade from our current portakabin!
We are part of Milton Keynes Christian Foundation, a registered charity based in the heart of Wolverton. This is an "all faiths and none" charity working with staff, volunteers and young people from all parts of the community.
This video, shot in 2019 by Wise Guys, sums up our work really well if you wanted to include a video: https://vimeo.com/356201270
If people would like to make a donation, they can do so here: https://localgiving.org/charity/mkchristianfoundation/, with a note that mentions the Urb Farm or Growing People so the donation is directed to the farm specifically. We can also accept direct donations if people would rather not go through the Local Giving website - supporters can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.